on my mind [what's left of it]

15 june

i didn't mean to not post last week. but it was just one of those weeks - things just didn't seem to click into place and even though i knew it wasn't going to fit i kept trying to put that round peg in the square hole.

sometimes i think that it's when you get relief from something that you really realize how challenging something has been. for example the little has been sleeping through the night for months now and yet i still can't seem to catch up on sleep. it's almost as if my body now that it is getting some decent sleep is letting me know how bad the deficit actually was. and is.

people sometimes ask me what it's like to be an artist and a mom. this was something that i thought about - A LOT - before deciding to have a child. i knew that being a mom would become the most important thing and that i would have to learn how to juggle and struggle in new ways. in all honesty - it wasn't even possible for me to fathom how this would all work - even on my best days of guessing. there is no way to know what temperament your child will have [on a day to day basis let alone overall] - there is no way to know how you will respond to demands of parenthood. i was determined from the get go that i would still make art. and i'm managing to do that, but it feels like it's by the seat of my pants and the skin of my teeth.

this parenting thing is such a wonderful, heart wrenching, impossible, amazing, laughter inducing, tear generating [both the joyous and upset kind] most rewarding and difficult thing i've ever even attempted. and i think about the millions - the billions - of people out there who are parents. about the generations of people who have done this. how in some strange way we are genetically wired to do this. and it just boggles my brain. [what's left of it anyway. it's a known fact that you loose gray matter during pregnancy. you are supposed to get it back, but i think my brain cells are still missing].

my friend eireann sent along this incredible essay by Sara Vap on her son Oskar [and his cars]. it sort of says much of how i feel in a much more eloquent way. it's part essay, part poem, dense and authentic in a way that riveted me. this paragraph in particular really got to me:

What I could try to tell you is that in mothering, I’ve lost the mind that I had before. I’ve lost my solitude, my body, my privacy, my time, my concentration. Mothering, I have lost my seriousness, my access, my connection to, my inclusion. Mothering, I have lost my sleep, my dreams, my mornings, my nights, my money, my job, and my time with other adults and other poets. As a pregnant woman, as a nursing woman, as a mothering woman, I have lost nearly all of the ways and props and yearnings and communities that defined who I previously understood myself to be. What I mean is, I no longer remember or recognize myself, mothering as I am.

and so i think i am re-defining who i am. which is a weird thing to confront at this moment in my life. before the little i have to say i was pretty comfortable with my life, with my decisions, with my "place" in the world. and now that's all shifting and changing in ways i can't really describe. this isn't a good or a bad thing. it's just how it is. sometimes it's lonely. sometimes it's thrilling. sometimes it's tragically funny. and it certainly alters how i look at an interact with the world. it's interesting for me to think about how this is what i expect from the art that i engage with. i want it to change me, my view, my body, my heart somehow and in someway. and so life is art and visa versa [i know i know not a new statement it's just funny how it's so true]


for a wee one and big sister

let's leave on a crafty note, shall we? a friend's wife is due any minute. they have decided not to know the sex of their wee one. so i made a sweater for the babe, and a matching sweater for the big sis [because i think the big kids sometimes get left out of the gift giving when a little one arrives]. hopefully they will fit. [if the big one is too little i guess it's a double baby present!].

the pattern came from lion brand [free as long as you give them your email address - but they don't send out solicitations unless you ask for them].

my first crocheted sweater. i made one for my little too. 3 green sweaters. i'm trying another one for the little in yellow. different pattern. we'll see how it goes.

have a lovely week.


I don't have my own little, so I cannot speak to what it feels like. I can say that I admire your observations of your life as you change and evolve. I also admire your sweaters. I am a big sister and do recall my little sister getting all of the attention when she was the new wee one. It was really nice of you to think of big sis too.
Anke said…
We don't have kids and probably never will for oh so many reasons...some of which are beyond our control. All you usually hear is how great and wonderful it is to have a child. While I believe this, it also seems more honest to me to read that it is also a difficult "journey". That not everything is candy and butterflies. But I also believe that while it might change you or how you see yourself, it will be a development. It will show you another side of yourself you might otherwise never have discovered. It will take time to incorporate all these facetes, but it will probably enrich you and your art.
And I love the sweaters. :)
natalie said…

I'm still a bit lost to be honest and it's been over 2 years...hoping to get back to me soon :)

lisa my friend I admire you for still managing to produce beautiful artwork x
Eireann said…
I'm here!

I loved that essay so much. Sometimes I feel like the only one of our early set who doesn't have kids and it is strange to be unable to access, in a deep way, some parts of the conversation. That's one reason I loved the Sarah Vap article--because it made me feel things and see things in ways that I hadn't before about experiences I haven't had and might not have.

Keep on, Lisa!
shanna said…
I loved this post so much Lisa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as you ease into your new life. It's comforting to know you are finding your way, as it's something I think of all the time as we consider diving into this new life ourselves.

hugs to you!
mari said…
This is beautiful, Lisa. I'm going through a lot of the same things. My little one is already 7 1/2 months! While it's easy to see the changes in her - her size, her expressions, her reactions to things and people - the changes in me are more subtle. But I'm changing. Sometimes I resist it because I have this crazy idea that I don't want to change, but it's happening, no matter what. I think in the end, it's all for the better.

oh, love that first photo with the red swing.
amy k. said…
oh wow, what a post. yes, yes, yes. to all of it. that paragraph you quoted is so honest and real.

I am amazed you were able to write this. your brain (and what is left of it) seems quite sharp. I feel on my best days, writing e-mail or writing in general is so hard for me. and this post is so concise and clear.

sleep and lack of it, ugh. I feel like everywhere I turn lately I am reading about the harsh effects of sleep deprivation and what it does to us. catch up if you can and rest, rest, rest. I think, for me, I didn't rest for years, and then I forgot how and now I am just relearning again. I never sit down. ever. it's sad and comical.
Katrina said…
i am always amazed at how you balance the more complicated thinking and the crafty projects and the huge art undertakings all in the world of your blog. i adore it. and can only imagine (and terrify myself) at how identity must shift when becoming a parent. and, i must say, 3 gorgeous green sweaters too. xoxo, k.
julie said…
lisa, yes, im on the same wave as you. and i never actually made it to being an artist. thank you for putting your thoughts out there. i feel less alone in mine.
and i lost a lot of the old brain cells with pregnancy number 3 and still waiting for a lot to return.

hugs, love the shade of green. xxx
rachelle soucy said…
Hello! Thanks for this post!!! I am an artist and mom and you have quite honestly put everything I have been thinking and feeling for the last year and a half into words!!! Promising myself to continue making art ... It is a crazy journey ... I have often thought: when will I ever get back to me? I think you are right, it is a journey now of redefining who I am ... Thanks for your honesty ... when I have had a hard day and express this, people often look at me strange ... so your honesty is appreciated ... you are keeping it real!!!!
These are things I've thought about, wondered about, worried about for us and the whole adjusting to change seems hard.
But for you, does it all seem normal now? That this is your life and you are making it work and you couldn't imagine it without the little now anyway?
I am just wondering.
This is a great post Lisa. :)
jan said…
Loved this post Lisa. It's so true so much of it. I think parenthood is an incredible experience, on so many levels. It makes us more accountable, we become advocates for our children and for our children's world. It may be all-encompassing but while we're not noticing it - we're becoming better people for their sake.

And what precious gifts for your friends new baby. Love the design and colour!
louise said…
Hi there Lisa, Don't think I can give much advice, not having a little and all. But I'm sure if anyone is able to figure it all out it's you. xoxo lj
gracia said…
So many things are mind boggling, aren't they? I could get lost in my own thoughts, following a random spark and end up completely confused. Human nature and why we do the things we do never ceases to amaze me... xo

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